Imagine the morning of your senior prom, waking up with thousands of fireworks going off in your body because you’re so excited.
Every girl dreams about having the perfect prom night and looks forward to the big day! You get to have your hair and makeup done and put on the most beautiful dress to feel like a princess for the night.
Arriving at prom would only bring out more excitement. Pictures with friends, great music, dancing, and the crowning of the king and queen, it would surely be the perfect night. Well, I didn’t actually get to experience any of that. Instead, I woke up the morning of my school’s prom in the hospital to have surgery for the removal of my breasts.
In February 2015, I noticed a lump in my right breast. I didn’t think too much of it but I still got it checked out. An ultrasound and mammogram confirmed I had a mass. The breast specialist I saw sent me home and told me not to worry because “18-year-olds don’t get breast cancer.” Two months later, I noticed the lump was now huge and I had many changes to my breast. I knew something wasn’t right but the doctor told me not to worry, so I didn’t. Although I wasn’t too worried, my mom was naturally concerned and made an appointment for me to have it checked.
This time I had a biopsy done.
The very next day I got a call that the doctors wanted me to come in right away.
On May 6, 2015, I heard those three little words no one wants to hear: “You have cancer.”
Right then and there my world flipped upside down. At 18, you don’t understand cancer. I was absolutely terrified. It wasn’t supposed to be cancer. It was supposed to be nothing. To top it all off, that same day I was diagnosed I was also told I needed to have a bilateral mastectomy. It was a lot to process and I knew it was going to be a long journey. Luckily, I had an amazing support system — my family.
My boyfriend was with me when I was diagnosed. We spent the rest of the day together just trying to make sense of it all. We cried a lot because we were both scared. Later that night we laid a blanket down in my yard and just looked up at the stars.
We didn’t say much, but we didn’t need to. It was in that moment that I knew everything was going to be okay. I was going to get through this with the help of my the people closest to me.
So on the morning of my senior prom, I didn’t have fireworks going off in my body. My hair and makeup wasn’t done to perfection. I didn’t get to wear the most beautiful dress. I didn’t get to feel like a princess. There was no music or dancing. I wasn’t prom queen. I was young and boobless, fighting to stay alive.
Over the next few months, I’ll take you through my journey of the most difficult, scary, lesson-filled year of my life.
As we’re always reconstructing our lives and transitioning from one chapter to the next, I hope you’ll find relief through reading my story and know that you’re not alone when life comes at you hard. It may not sound like much, but as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about all of the people who feel scared and alone and need proof that life can get better. I want you to know I’m here for you.
Until next time,
Pickledelphia Rescheduled for October, See You There
Shit weather put Philly’s first-ever pickle festival in, well, a pickle. The rain washed away plans for the food fest to take place earlier this month, but a new day has been chosen: Sunday, October 14.
The festival will still go down at The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons when it unites pickle lovers this fall.
In case this is the first time you’re hearing about Pickledelphia, here’s what to expect: More than a dozen food vendors, plus 15 pickle companies, who’ll be selling themed edibles such as pickle-flavored ice cream, pickle creme brûlée, and pickle pizza.
Pickledelphia even partnered with Jameson for a pickle back bar. Yeah, they’re not fucking around. Pickle Bloody Mary’s. Pickle margaritas. This is not a drill.
Better than the Weekend will have a tent set up with some giveaways, so be sure to say hi.
Information on the event, presented by Studio 27 Print & Design and Digital Force Agency, can be found by visiting their website: phillypicklefest.com.
Inside Performix House: The Gym That’s Harder to Get In than an Ivy League School
Welcome to Performix House — if they’ll let you in. This is New York’s latest elite fitness establishment and it’s where the most driven, fit, influential, able-bodied minds unite to achieve the ultimate Instagram-worthy body. With a 13 percent acceptance rate, it’s easier to get accepted to an Ivy League university such as Cornell.
The fitness incubator is an extension of Performix, a sports performance supplement brand available for sale in GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe.
The lowest tier of membership begins at $249 per month, which does not include independent gym access: members must have a scheduled personal training session with one of Performix House’s trainers to use the fitness facility. For $899 each month, members enjoy the luxury of unlimited access to Performix House’s premium amenities, including massages and cryotherapy.
One month of top-tier membership could allow someone to work out at Planet Fitness for seven-and-a-half years. It would even cost less to lease a 2018 Maserati than it would to be a member at Performix House.
Their personal trainers, who they refer to as collaborators instead of employees, have access to Performix House’s professional video production team to create the best fitness content. videographer and editor to create content. “We’re helping them connect with their consumers and grow their following,” says Hesse.
Devon Levesque is among their training collaborators. He has more than 80,000 Instagram followers.
The dude is a beast.
Matt Hesse, founder and CEO of Performix House, accepted about 230 members out of roughly 1800 applicants.
Hesse told Forbes membership isn’t unobtainable. He wants to bring together a community of driven individuals. Each applicant is given the opportunity to answer one testing question: What do you do to own every day?
After hearing that, my new goal is to work out at Performix House.
Scranton Artists: Here’s Why We Need Art
Some jackasses, a.k.a. policy-makers and school boards, just don’t seem to f#&%ing get the importance of art enough to secure its funding and need to have its influence spelled out.
The Electric City is about to get more eclectic thanks to a group of artists banding together — basically for the good of mankind — to host a series of inventive workshops placing priority on connecting the community through creative expression during one of the most politically and culturally divisive climates in modern America. Among the artists, a wine glass painter who helps looking at the emptiness following the last sip of boxed Franzia (we all drink it) a little less depressing. Another makes flashy hats — the kind you saw posh guests wear to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. They’re called fascinators. Then there’s a young woman who crafts dreamcatchers and alters books from their original form to turn them into something eye-catching and display-worthy. A graphic designer is even in the mix.
The workshops will initiate this fall at the new Eclectic City Studio inside Jeff D’Angelo’s Design Group HQ at 631 Prospect Ave.
Each artist will have sign-ups for their debut workshop, while displaying and selling their art, at Bogart Court, the brick alley nestled behind Lackawanna Ave., during First Friday Scranton from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 7. They’ll set up outside AOS Metals, which sells handmade jewelry and a collection of items from local handmade artists, and The Velvet Elvis, a kitschy vintage shop that looks like every crazy rich dead aunt’s estate sale. You’ll find something there that you’ll be glad wasn’t willed to your sister.
The Eclectic Studio founder, Jeff D’Angelo, will feature handmade props throughout Bogart Court — including a display in honor of The Office outside Better than the Weekend’s HQ and a Jurassic Park exhibit and photo booth inside.
Before escaping to the remote Isla Nublar from Jurassic Park — through Jeff D’Angelo’s handmade props — here’s a reminder of why we need art in all of our lives from the artists behind the Eclectic City Studio:
Melanie DiPietro, Painted Wine Glasses by Melanie
“Expression. Not everyone communicates or comprehends the same way. I am a visual person, so colors, shapes, sounds, and movement all speak to me. There’s nothing else in the world that can compare to this type of expression. What a bland place the world would be without art.”
Aubrey McClintock, A Daily Obsession
“Life is better decorated. My fascinators are meant to make people smile and are not to be taken terribly seriously. While not everyone is willing to wear a towering french fry sculpture on their head, they can still enjoy that such a thing exists and that there are people out there who will happily sport such a concoction.”
Maddesen Paige Wright , DIY Dreamcatchers & Altered Book Art
“Art gives people an outlet; a field to be uncensored and irrevocably themselves.”
Kristy Jamison, Two Tree Design Co.
“Our modern world is connected in ways that past generations could only dream of. Art helps us communicate, reflect on, and express our cultures and beliefs. Art can be a powerful, passionate tool that allows us to shout messages about politics and human rights issues across language and cultural barriers. Art — whether it’s drawing, painting, music, words or performance — can also be a meditative and healing outlet, releasing uncensored emotions in a natural and rewarding way. Art feeds our economy and enriches our lives.”
Jeff D’Angelo, Jeff D’Angelo Design Group
“Art is truly the purest form of creative expression. People can use art to make their mark on the world and, in turn, promote further growth and interaction with others.”
More information on the artists and their First Friday Scranton visit at Bogart Court can be found here.
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